KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 1 — The security control on national waters has been increased to prevent any possible intrusion by members of Maute group, the Islamic State-inspired militants, following the major offensive mounted by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) against them, said Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.
The move was taken to prevent members of Maute group from getting any protection from any quarters in the country, the Umno vice-president told a press conference after the opening of the Umno General Assembly 2016 at the Putra World Trade Centre here today.
The AFP were reported to have launched a major offensive against the Maute militants in Butig, Lanao del Sur, Mindanao, to flush them out from the area which they had occupied since November 24.
Hishammuddin said according to the latest AFP report, 19 Maute militants were killed, while 13 AFP personnel were injured during the clash.
The armed militant group was also reported to be responsible for the deadly bombing attack in Davao on September 2, which killed 15 people.
Commenting on the same issue, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who is also Home Minister, said the government had taken all the necessary actions to foil any malicious attempts by militant groups in the country.
However, he said the government would not interfere in the domestic issues of other countries unless it involved cross-border crime or kidnapping of a Malaysian national or tourist visiting Malaysia.
“We know that the situation occurred following the Philippines’ military and policing decision.
“But the consent given by the Philippine president had enabled us to act and had eased our operation to prevent the spread of militant activities in Malaysia,” he said. — Bernama